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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Far Ahead of His Time: James Africanus Horton's Initiatives for a West African University and His Frustrations, 1862-1871
Author:Nwauwa, Apollos O.
Periodical:Cahiers d'études africaines
Geographic terms:Sierra Leone
Great Britain
biographies (form)
History and Exploration
Education and Oral Traditions
About person:James Africanus Beale Horton (1835-1883)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.3406/cea.1999.1966
Abstract:African demand for the provision of facilities for university education in British colonies began in 1861 through 1868 when James Africanus Horton, a Sierra Leonean creole, appealed to the British War Office to establish a small medical school and a West African University in Sierra Leone. Horton had graduated in 1855 at Fourah Bay College, the only higher educational institute of any significance in the whole of West Africa, founded by the Church Missionary Society. A brilliant student, he was one of the rare Sierra Leoneans to be trained as a medical officer in Britain. He viewed education as the chief agent of civilization and development which was capable of freeing Africans from alleged racial inferiority. British missionaries and colonial officials ardently opposed the university idea because it would involve huge budgetary costs, loss of jobs for them, and confer a sense of racial equality upon Africans. Although Horton failed to realize his dream, his initiatives ultimately resulted in the minimal degree work at Fourah Bay College, inspired other African intelligentsia, and constituted the rationale for subsequent British postwar university schemes in Africa in the 1940s. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.